This isn’t the 1950’s anymore. We aren’t living in Levittown (remember the Weeds title song Little Boxes by Malvina Reynolds?) or throwing Tupperware parties. People are living longer, getting married later, and concerned with more than just starting families once they finish high school or college. People are now saying that your 30’s are the new 20’s. So thankfully we all have time to get our shit together. While there are strong arguments to support this theory, there are also people who completely disagree. So, are your 30’s the new 20’s?
Some psychologists, including Meg Jed, who’s Ted talk “Why 30 isn’t the new 20” blew up, insinuate that today’s twenty-somethings are lazy and unmotivated, using this excuse to waste time and act as if it is a throwaway decade. They question whether we have a lack of work ethic and lack of desire to grow up (the “peter pan syndrome”). While this is certainly true in some people it is not necessarily the majority. So, does this mean are your 30’s the new 20’s?
What they fail to realize
Today’s “twenty-somethings” measure of success has simply evolved into something different than generations before us. Many people believe that both experiences and quality of life are more prominent measures of success than finding the perfect spouse or becoming the next Steve Jobs. There is a bigger emphasis on individuality and self-exploration. As each decade passes, priorities change.
Our grandparents used typewriters, got married at 20, had three children and a mortgage by 22 and so on. At 20 I was drinking warm keg beer in a basement and living in a closet of a dorm room with two girls I had never met. I spent my college years meeting new people. I was trying new things, traveling, and starting to figure out who I was and what I wanted. If I had gotten married after college, it would probably last just as long as Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Kris Humphries.
I am in no rush to find my husband, to get married just to start a family. To waste 20 years in a career where I am constantly staring at the clock yearning for the weekend only for Monday morning to come yet again, and the days go by slow while the years flash by? Not appealing. When I am 50 years old I do not want to go through a midlife crisis because my children are all grown up and I realized I never really found who I was without them.
Going from my parents home to buying my own home and starting a family is not something I desire and that is okay. It is okay to take time, to figure out what I want out of my life, and to know how to find my inner peace. I am unburdened by a mortgage, a family and a suffocating career. The opportunities are endless. I am free to travel, to move, to fail and recover from it. I can take chances and learn from my mistakes.
There are strong stances on both sides of the equation. The answer boils down to how you are spending your 20’s, and what your life goals are. The key is to allow for exploration, not procrastination. As long as you are learning something every day and working towards the goals that you set out for yourself then you are living a fulfilling life. If we all stayed true to ourselves the world would be a much happier (and arguably productive place).
Are your 30’s the new 20’s? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Featured image source: weheartit.com
Young "professional," Providence College grad, above average procrastinator, reality tv enthusiast, high profile contributing member of society.